Nairobi – Manufacturers have called on the government to prioritize export-led industrialization for sustained economic growth.
This was during the roll out of the Kenya Manufacturers Association (KAM) Annual Manufacturing Priorities Agenda (MPA), with the theme “Manufacturing Recovery and Sustained Growth for Kenya’s Shared Prosperity”.
Speaking at the launch, the Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Industrialisation, Trade and Business Development, Betty Maina, noted that the government continues to engage the business community to improve competitiveness.
“As a result of corporate engagements over the years, we have made tremendous strides in improving our trade and industrialization capacity as a nation. One of the key initiatives has been preferential sourcing for products made locally by the government in order to increase the consumption of Kenyan goods and services,” says Maïna.
The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of East African Community and Regional Integration, Kevit Desai, stressed the need for collaboration to transform the economy: “It is essential that all relevant stakeholders work together to transform and drive growth across different sectors of the economy.
“The government will remain focused on creating policies and legislation that support the sustained growth of the manufacturing sector,” Desai said.
IMF representative Tobias Rasmussen noted that while Kenya has made significant progress in improving the business environment, the country’s export volume remains low.
“Kenya’s export performance has been relatively stagnant, especially for manufactured goods, even before the pandemic. Reversing this trend requires export dynamism from Kenyan manufacturers. to improve the quality of Kenyan products, increase value addition and production refinement,” he said.
KAM Chairman Mucai Kunyiha noted that competitiveness is the only foundation on which we can build a sustainable manufacturing industry that delivers value to consumers.
“To build a strong manufacturing sector, we need to focus on export markets, which requires us to be competitive. Competitiveness strengthens a country’s ability to create productive jobs, decent wages and, therefore, a reliable social support system for its people.